Crowder with the Jazz in October 2018
|No. 99 - Miami Heat|
|Position||Small forward / Power forward|
|Born||July 6, 1990|
|Listed height||6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)|
|Listed weight||235 lb (107 kg)|
|High school||Villa Rica High School (Villa Rica Ga, Georgia)|
|NBA draft||2012 / Round: 2 / Pick: 34th overall|
|Selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Stats at NBA.com|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Not being heavily recruited out of high school, Crowder committed to South Georgia Technical College and later Howard College, where he led the team to an NJCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship in his sophomore season. While at Howard College, Crowder was also named State Farm Junior College Player of the Year. Later, he transferred to Marquette, where he was named Big East Player of the Year in his senior season. After his senior year ended, he became eligible for the 2012 NBA draft, where he was drafted 34th overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers and traded to the Dallas Mavericks on draft night. In 2014, Crowder was traded to the Boston Celtics. He spent three years in Boston before being traded back to his draft team, the Cavaliers, in August 2017. In 2018, he was traded to the Utah Jazz and he has also played for the Memphis Grizzlies.
Jae Crowder was born on July 6, 1990, in Villa Rica, Georgia, to Helen Thompson and basketball player Corey Crowder. Crowder attended Villa Rica High School, where he played as starting quarterback for the football team and as starting point guard for the basketball team. Crowder spent the summer holidays in Florida, working out and training with his father, then a professional basketball player, with 2 years experience in the NBA playing in Europe. Growing up, he was undersized and overweight, weighing nearly 200 pounds in his junior year. Eventually, he called his father to help him lose weight. By the end of his junior year, he had grown to 6'4" and had significantly improved his physical conditioning.
Crowder was not heavily recruited out of high school, although he had some offers in football. He committed to South Georgia Technical College, a college in Americus, Georgia. He later transferred to Howard College for his sophomore season. After his junior college eligibility ended, he transferred to Marquette.
In his only season with South Georgia Tech, he led the Jets to their first-ever NJCAA national tournament appearance in his freshman season, under head coach Steven Wright, with the team finishing with a 21-7 record. He was named Georgia Junior College Athletic Association Player of the Year that season.
In his sophomore season with the Howard Hawks in 2010, Crowder was not only named Junior College Player of the Year but also helped the team win its first-ever NJCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship. In the final game he registered 27 points and 12 rebounds in an 85-80 overtime victory against Three Rivers Community College. He averaged 18.9 points, 9.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.4 steals per game as a sophomore while shooting 46.0 percent from the field and 76.0 percent from the free throw line.
After his season with the Howard Hawks, Crowder transferred to Marquette University, selecting the Golden Eagles over UNLV, Georgia Tech, Texas Tech and Illinois State, among others. He averaged 11.8 points and 6.8 rebounds in his first season with Marquette. Some basketball statisticians believe Crowder was statistically the best all-around player during the 2010-11 season. On January 1, 2011, Crowder recorded a career-high 29 points and 8 rebounds in a game against the West Virginia Mountaineers. On March 30, 2012, Crowder was named East Perfect Player of the Game in the Reese's College All-Star Game.
For the 2011-2012 season, Crowder averaged 17.5 points and 8.4 rebounds per game. Crowder led Marquette to a second-place finish in the Big East, as well as their second consecutive Sweet 16. During the same season, he was named Big East Player of the Year, as well as an AP Second-Team All American.
After finishing his college career, Jae Crowder decided to enter the 2012 NBA draft, where he was projected to be a second round draft pick. Crowder was taken 34th overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers; however, a draft night-trade with the Mavericks sent him to Dallas, along with 24th overall pick Jared Cunningham and 33rd overall pick Bernard James, in exchange for 17th overall pick Tyler Zeller and Kelenna Azubuike. He was officially signed on July 20, 2012 on a non-guaranteed two-year contract, like all second round draft picks. His Marquette teammate Darius Johnson-Odom was also drafted with the 55th overall pick.
Due to his strong showing in NBA Summer League and preseason games, he was described as "the steal of the NBA draft", averaging 11.4 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.9 steals, 1.6 assists and 0.8 blocks in 22 minutes per game in the preseason and 16.6 points, 1.6 assists, 5.4 rebounds, 0.8 blocks, 2.0 steals and 41.7 percent shooting in Summer League, where he was also voted into the All-Summer League team. This strong showing raised expectations in the young player, as he was viewed as possibly the Mavericks' new franchise player and possibly a future All-Star.
His stellar play earned him a spot in coach Rick Carlisle's rotation. He debuted in the season-opening win against the Los Angeles Lakers. After Dirk Nowitzki missed most of the early season with an arthroscopic knee surgery and starting small forward Shawn Marion was also injured, Crowder became the team's starting small forward. With Marion and Nowitzki's returns, Crowder's minutes decreased. His contribution started to dwindle a bit starting around the all-star break, when he admitted that he hit the "rookie wall". The Mavericks were never able to recover from Nowitzki's injury and missed the playoffs for the first time in 12 years, with Crowder averaging 5 points and 2.4 rebounds per game in 17.3 minutes.
On November 5, 2013, Crowder scored a then career-high 18 points in a 123-104 win over the Los Angeles Lakers. On February 27, 2014, Crowder was assigned to the Texas Legends of the NBA Development League. He was recalled by the Mavericks on February 28, reassigned on March 1, and recalled again on March 2.
On June 10, 2014, the Mavericks exercised their team option on Crowder's contract. With the offseason additions of forwards Al-Farouq Aminu and Richard Jefferson, Crowder's minutes subsequently dropped to start the 2014-15 season, falling out of coach Rick Carlisle's frontcourt rotation. On November 9, 2014, he scored a season-high 15 points on 5-of-6 shooting in a 105-96 loss to the Miami Heat.
On December 18, 2014, Crowder was traded, along with Jameer Nelson, Brandan Wright, a 2015 first-round pick, a 2016 second-round pick and a $12.9 million trade exception, to the Boston Celtics in exchange for Rajon Rondo and Dwight Powell. On January 12, 2015, he scored a then career-high 22 points in a 108-100 win over the New Orleans Pelicans. On April 14, 2015, he hit an off-balance fall-away two-point shot from deep on the right wing with 0.8 seconds left, lifting Boston to a 95-93 win over the Toronto Raptors. After averaging just 3.6 points in 10.6 minutes per game with Dallas to start the 2014-15 season, Crowder became an important role player for the Celtics in Brad Stevens' rotation, and subsequently lifted his averages to 9.5 points in 24.2 minutes per game.
On July 27, 2015, Crowder re-signed with the Celtics to a reported five-year, $35 million contract. On December 18, 2015, he scored a career-high 24 points in a loss to the Atlanta Hawks. He topped that mark on January 4, 2016, scoring 25 points in a 103-94 win over the Brooklyn Nets. On January 13, he tied his career high of 25 points in a 103-94 win over the Indiana Pacers. On March 14, he was ruled out for two weeks with a right ankle sprain. He returned to action on March 31 against the Portland Trail Blazers after missing eight games.
In the Celtics' season opener on October 26, 2016, Crowder scored 21 points in a 122-117 win over the Brooklyn Nets. He appeared in the team's first four games of the season, but then missed eight straight games with a sprained left ankle. He returned to action on November 19, scoring nine points in a 94-92 win over the Detroit Pistons. On March 17, 2017, he recorded season highs with 24 points and 12 rebounds in a 98-95 win over Brooklyn. On March 26, 2017, he set a new season high with 25 points in a 112-108 win over the Miami Heat. In Game 1 of the Celtics' Eastern Conference semifinal match-up with the Washington Wizards, Crowder scored a playoff career-high 24 points, helping the Celtics win 123-111.
On August 22, 2017, Crowder was traded, along with Isaiah Thomas, Ante ?i?i? and the Brooklyn Nets' 2018 unprotected first round pick, to the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for Kyrie Irving. Eight days later, the Celtics agreed to send the Cavaliers a 2020 second-round draft pick via the Miami Heat to complete the trade. On November 20, 2017, Crowder scored a season-high 18 points against the Detroit Pistons.
On February 8, 2018, Crowder was acquired by the Utah Jazz in a three-team trade that also involved the Cavaliers and the Sacramento Kings. In his debut for the Jazz three days later, Crowder scored 15 points in a 115-96 win over the Portland Trail Blazers. On March 9, 2018, he scored a season-high 22 points in a 95-78 win over the Memphis Grizzlies. In Game 5 of the Jazz's first-round playoff series against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Crowder scored a career playoff-high 27 points in a 107-99 loss.
On July 6, 2019, the Memphis Grizzlies acquired Crowder from the Jazz as part of a package for Mike Conley Jr. On October 27, Crowder hit the game-winning buzzer beating three-pointer to defeat the Brooklyn Nets 134-133 in overtime.
On February 6, 2020, Crowder was traded to the Miami Heat in a 3-team trade. This reunited Crowder with his former college teammate Jimmy Butler. Crowder helped the Heat reach the 2020 NBA Finals, but lost in 6 games to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Crowder is known for his good all around-play and his positional flexibility. He is a rugged defender with a strong, muscular stature and a good rebounder. He has a good three point shot and postplay, as well as being solid from long range, averaging .498 from the field and .345 from the three-point line in his senior season at Marquette. Crowder has a tremendous work ethic, growing from a chubby kid into a muscular player, training with intense will and commitment to improve his skills. Rick Carlisle compared him to Tayshaun Prince, whom he coached while with the Detroit Pistons, stating: "Jae just has a maturity beyond his years. He's got a natural motor and a natural, real, pure basketball energy. He's the kind of guy who would fit in on any team."
Crowder's father, Corey, played in the NBA for the Utah Jazz and the San Antonio Spurs and had a 14-year professional basketball career, mostly playing in Europe. Crowder has seven siblings. He majored in communication studies at Marquette's Diederich College of Communication.
Jae's mother Helen Thompson died of cancer in August 2017. She died the same night he was traded to Cleveland from Boston. At his introductory press conference in Cleveland, he said, "The good thing about the whole ordeal was I was able to whisper it to my mom before she passed. I was with her. I just told her, 'We're going to Cleveland.' Five minutes later, she passed."